MORE ON WHY AMAZON IS WINNING THE BOOK WARS
Amazon is winning the book publishing wars, primarily because they are succeeding on nearly every front — with authors, with customers, with delivery infrastructure, with pricing, and with innovation. In a recent post, J.A. Konrath, a novelist who toyed with self-publishing before taking the plunge (and thriving), takes on Amazon doubters and haters, in a post unflinchingly titled, “Amazon Will Destroy You.” In a less blunt but perhaps even more convincing post, Mike Shatzkin outlines his rationale for why he believes we are about at the halfway point in the online books (r)evolution.
The Scholarity Kitchen
AMAZON IS CREATING COMPETITION, NOT KILLING IT
The big topic (again) seems to be whether Amazon is a monopoly, or is heading in that direction, and whether they should be “stopped” (although, I’m never quite sure what that entails exactly).
Barry Eisler dealt with this fear, rather conclusively, back in October in a guest post on Joe Konrath’s blog.
But lately, the hysteria has been ratcheted up a notch by Mike Shatzkin’s sensible prediction that Amazon will soon be responsible for 50% of most publisher’s sales (I can’t link to Mike’s original piece at the moment, there seems to be a problem with his site, but Passive Guy quotes the main points).
IS AMAZON EVIL, OR THEY ARE JUST REALLY GOOD AT BUSINESS?
Nico Vreeland’s earlier post, which Teleread reprinted earlier, was one of many articles I have lately seen which explore the issue of the publishers versus Amazon. Is Amazon evil? Are their business practices ‘predatory’ and should publishers be trying to disable them? More and more, I am thinking the answer to these questions is no. Amazon is not evil. They have just figured out what the customers want better than anybody else has so far, and they are giving it to them.
THE REALITY OF AMAZON AND THE DIGITAL PUBLISHING WORLD
"Amazon is being proclaimed the Death Star of publishing by authors (Scott Turow called it the Darth Vader, but let’s go bigger), bookstores, the Big 6, the Little 17, and the Weird 55 and all life as we know in the known, and unknown, universe. All I’m seeing is people on both sides sharpening their blades and slashing at each other. From Joe Konrath’s “Amazon is going to destroy you”, to the Author’s Guild post, to the various boycotts. One would think they’re offering small children up to Satan somewhere in Amazon’s corporate headquarters in Seattle the way some are reacting. Or at least a virgin or two. Like they could find one. Well, I’m sure they’ll be selling them soon enough."
WHY SELF-PUBLISHED AUTHORS KNOW BEST
I ran across this quote today, from a post that historical romance novelist Courtney Milan wrote this week as an open letter to agents.
The traditional information storehouse has been inverted. Right now, the people who know the most about self-publishing are authors, and trust me, the vast majority of authors are aware of that. For the first time, authors are having questions about their careers, and their agents are not their go-to people.
While not having an agent, in fact having decided in the fall of 2009 not to look for an agent for my historical mystery, Maids of Misfortune, I can’t really speak to this group’s effectiveness in this new publishing climate.
M. Louisa Locke (via Passive Voice)
6 REASONS FOR WRITERS TO BE OPTIMISTIC
Guess what! The sky may not be falling after all. Yes, there are a lot of changes happening in publishing (and the world).
But things aren’t all bad. Herewith, six tidbits to cheer you up.
1. Publishers are still buying books. If you follow Publishers Marketplace, you know that new deals are being announced every day. Some people even (allegedly) get deals for $4 million (hello Amanda Knox). While that’s not the norm, it’s a sign that big publishers still have money and still see a future for books. Closer to home, it’s nice to note that deals are still being done for books in all genres, fiction and non-fiction.
WHY THE 21st CENTURY AUTHOR IS AN INTERNET ENTREPRENEUR
Twenty-six year-old Amanda Hocking doesn’t fit existing stereotypes of Internet entrepreneurs.
Described by the New York Times as a “hipster schoolgirl,” Amanda favors Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles t-shirts, jeans, and prefers to go sans shoes.
Well, perhaps her fashion sense meets with some entrepreneurial stereotypes.
The similarities seemingly end there when you consider that Amanda is an author of fiction. Specifically, she writes paranormal-romance fiction involving vampires, trolls, and zombies.